Wednesday 18 September 2019

O'Donnell on fire as Ireland retain their status

O’Donnell clocked a season’s best of 46.70 to finish second to world U-20 champion Jonathan Sacoor of Belgium on Saturday, and in yesterday’s relay he held off Sacoor to bring Ireland home in front in their section in 3:08.83. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
O’Donnell clocked a season’s best of 46.70 to finish second to world U-20 champion Jonathan Sacoor of Belgium on Saturday, and in yesterday’s relay he held off Sacoor to bring Ireland home in front in their section in 3:08.83. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Cathal Dennehy

Sligo's Chris O'Donnell was the star performer for the Irish at the European Team Championships in Sandnes, Norway over the weekend, the 21-year-old taking second in the 400m and anchoring the Irish to victory in the 4x400m.

That was enough to place Ireland seventh out of 11 nations, avoiding relegation by just one place.

O'Donnell clocked a season's best of 46.70 to finish second to world U-20 champion Jonathan Sacoor of Belgium on Saturday, and in yesterday's relay he held off Sacoor to bring Ireland home in front in their section in 3:08.83.

Mark English unleashed a flying finish to take second in the men's 800m in 1:50.06. "I'm not in my best shape, I was a bit rusty," said English. "But I'm happy to bring home 10 points for Ireland."

Thomas Barr finished fourth in the 400m hurdles in 51.12 in his first event back after a calf strain. Fionnuala McCormack took third in the women's 5000m in 16:02.78.

In the women's 4x400m, the quartet of Nessa Millet, Nicole Walsh, Jenna Bromell and Sharlene Mawdsley produced a brilliant run to win their section in 3:35.77 - claiming fourth overall.

Jayme Rossiter was fourth in the men's 3000m steeplechase, while there were also fourth-place finishes for Marcus Lawler in the men's 200m (21.29) and Pippa Rogan in the women's high jump (1.82m).

Meanwhile, Yared Derese was first home in the Rock 'n' Roll Dublin Half Marathon in 1:04:58 to take the national title ahead of Mick Clohisey (1:05:36). Angela McCann took the women's title in 1:20:14.

Coyle clinches Tokyo place

Natalya Coyle is heading to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after accomplishing her mission at the European Modern Pentathlon Championships in Bath, England.

With eight Olympic places on offer in the women's final, the 28-year-old from Meath secured hers with something to spare to give herself a full 12 months to prepare for her third Games. Coyle finished eighth on the day and fourth among those eligible for Olympic qualification, crossing the line 14 seconds ahead of the top-ranked unsuccessful qualifier in 14th. Ireland's Sive Brassil finished 16th.

"I'm over the moon," said Coyle. I can't describe how happy I am."

However, Kilkenny's Arthur Lanigan-O'Keeffe, who finished 25th in the men's final, has announced his season is over due to an Achilles injury.

Irish Independent

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